Do you take some time to adjust when you move to a new home? I think we all do, so to see what Spencer Steer is doing is both familiar and understandable.
- Born: December 7, 1997
- B/T: Right/Right
- 5’11”, 185-lbs
- Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Oregon
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
Spencer Steer started briefly in Rookie ball the year he was drafted, but then quickly went to A-ball where other than power he put up very solid numbers. He instantly showed he had the ability to be selective on which pitches to swing at, and thus his strikeout rate was great and he had a good walk rate.
The lost year of 2020 came, and in 2021 he began at High-A and simply overwhelmed the competition. Not much point in keeping him at that level, so they bumped him to Double-A in the second half of the season, and he had some adjustments to make at that level. His power — great power now — remained exactly at his A+ level, but he struck out almost twice as much and walked less than half as much, and that led to a very low OBP.
So this year he repeats AA and once again adjusts and shows he can overwhelm the pitchers there too. So he goes to Triple-A in May and this time the adjustment is not as extreme. The power is exactly the same as AA (we are getting the idea that the power is real no matter where he plays, and a Hard Hit% of 29.1% in Triple-A shows the power is very much real). The strikeouts get a bit worse, but not as bad as in 2021, and the walks actually increase (that kind of power will do that to a walk rate). His OBP dipped, but again, not as badly as in 2021.
So let’s break down his Triple-A time into about as equal chunks of time as I can make them, 13-game groupings:
We see he hit Triple-A hot, and his tremendous power turned into extra-orbital power because a .381 ISO is out of this world. Good strikeout and walk numbers, and the OBP is not bad at all.
The next 13 games he strikes out more (thus gets on base less), still has great power.
The most recent 12 games has seen his power dip, his strikeouts and walks improve, and so we see his natural batting eye taking hold and choosing to get on base rather than swing for the fences. He’s adjusting, week by week by week.
He hits lefties better, but he gets on base at a decent clip against righties. An OPS of .900 against righties is a sign that he won’t need to be platooned.
- Rotowire: #136 on their Top 400
- Fantrax: #208 on their Top 400
- Fantasy Six Pack: Not on their Fantasy Baseball Prospect Top 400+
- Imaginary Brick Wall: Not on their Top 472
His batting average may not be that great in the majors, but his OBP should be good enough.
He seems to like to adjust to a level for a while, so when he gets called up, be patient.
He doesn’t look like a source of steals.
He’s got power *and* he has a discerning batting eye. Plus he had good defensive skills with the versatility to play anywhere in the infield. That’s the sort of prospect who gets chances sooner.
He’s adjusting to Triple-A, so it would not surprise me to see him with the Twins later this season. Otherwise look for him to get regular MLB playing time next year in his age 25 season. Not a top prospect, but a very good prospect.